Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker caused an uproar earlier this week when he announced during a press conference that “Bars are closed in Massachusetts and bars masquerading as restaurants also need to be closed.” The new rules state that the first round must be paired with food prepared onsite; many businesses are struggling to understand exactly what that entails.
Although I wholeheartedly agree with him in terms of the traditional sense of the word “bar” and I think anyone crowding up to an indoor bar right now is a fucking dipshit, I couldn’t disagree more when it comes to outdoor drinking.
Here’s the deal: breweries across the state have set up outdoor beer gardens with strictly defined capacity and spacing. They’re taking reservations in advance, collecting the information necessary for contact tracing, and only letting customers stay for 90 minutes. They’re sanitizing the bejesus out of their tables, chairs, bathrooms, point of sale systems, and everything else. In my experience, breweries care significantly more about their customer base and the communities they serve than the shitbag restaurants that are all owned by local conglomerates just trying to make as much money as they can before they flip the real estate and the liquor license. Of course, this also means they lack the resources necessary to lobby Republican governors, but I digress.
Beer gardens of this ilk should be allowed to operate right now, with or without food. And frankly, I think there should be more of them.
COVID transmission happens when too many people are right on top of each other. These breweries and beer gardens are preventing that! Every weekend some dipshit doesn’t throw a giant barbecue or house party because he can go drink beer at a socially distant table with three to five of his friends is a giant fucking win. My general attitude toward the pandemic is that people need to cut the shit and stop being such a bunch of entitled assholes, but I’m enough of a realist to understand that we need to give everybody something to do. Give them their own little space, carefully limited to a safe capacity and set an appropriate distance from everyone else, where they’ve got access to a regularly cleaned pisser and where there’s a burly dude with tattoos who will remind them to put their fucking mask on when they get up from their table.
We need more outdoor spaces like this, I think, where the traffic flows are clearly marked and the sitting areas are obviously designated and distant. We should let local brewers put beer gardens up and down the damn Charles, on M Street Beach, and along the Minuteman Bike Path. Some people can’t be trusted to be responsible on their own, so let’s give them a little box to sit in and placate them with a beer and take their money.
And my god, think of the boon to local business! Everybody’s depressed and looking to take the edge off and have something that resembles a summer. Access to beer gardens can tick all of those boxes in a safe manner while creating jobs and stimulating an industry that’s quickly becoming a boon to tourism and to the state in general.
Seriously. Here’s to the fucking beer gardens and all the effort they’ve put in to provide a safe refuge in the middle of this shit. They should be applauded, and they should be rewarded for preventing people from engaging in significantly riskier behavior–not saddled with a bunch of poorly defined regulation that inhibits their ability to do business for no fucking reason. That’s not very Republican, now is it, Charlie?